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Cyprus wants clear positions from EU on Turkey-Libya accord

President Anastasiades

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades expects “clear positions” from Cyprus’ EU partners as regards the agreement between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of maritime areas, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushios said on Wednesday, as the bloc’s leaders are expected to pronounce the deal void.

Anastasiades arrived in Brussels on Wednesday to participate in the European Council taking place on Thursday and Friday. While in Brussels the president will also meet with other EU leaders but also bloc officials to raise issues that concern Cyprus and issues of EU interest, which are also part of the summit’s agenda, the spokesman said.

He expressed hope that the summit’s decisions would reflect a clear position regarding the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Turkey and Libya by pronouncing that it goes against international law and produces no legal effects for the rest of the region’s countries.

“The president expects that during the summit there will be a positive approach from the heads of state and government over the matter,” Koushios told the Cyprus News Agency.

The draft conclusions, already leaked, reportedly include a statement that the Turkey-Libya accord infringes on the sovereign rights of third states and does not comply with the UN Law of the Sea. The EU leaders’ conclusions are expected to be issued on Thursday.

The draft also says that the European Council “unequivocally reaffirms its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding these actions by Turkey”.

Greece has lodged its objections to the United Nations over the agreement saying the pact could affect implementation of the Libyan agreement brokered by the UN in 2015 to end years of fighting in the North African country.

In the meantime, Italy and Germany called for support to Cyprus and Greece.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday that Rome favours a European response that will support the interests of Cyprus and Greece.

Speaking at the Italian parliament, Conte said that it was important for the European Council to reaffirm support for the EU eastern Mediterranean member states as well as a reference on full respect for international law.

Spokesperson for the German Foreign Affairs Ministry, Maria Andebar, too said her country shares the EU’s stand of solidarity with Greece and Cyprus.

Replying to a Cyprus News Agency, she urged Turkey and Libya “to respect the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of all EU member states.”


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